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eBook only


ISBN:
9780857907325
Categories
Classic Fiction, eBook Only, Fiction, Fiction
Imprint
Birlinn eBooks
Publication Date
20 April 2015
Format
eBook only
Status
Available for Sale
Publisher
Birlinn Ltd
Extent
154

An End to Autumn

by Iain Crichton Smith - Find out more about the author

 

eBook also available from the iBookstore

Tom and Vera Mallow, who are in only their early thirties, might indeed be said to be in the autumn of their lives already, they are school teachers, both of them, but without any strong feeling for children, and without nay children of their own. Their outlook is wary; they hold themselves apart. When they invite Tom’s mother to share their home, they do so from a sense of duty rather than love.

But after autumn, we find, comes summer; and it is the mothers – Tom’s and, later Vera’s – who in surprising ways reverse the march of the seasons: Mrs Mallow as irritant, with her incongruous friendship with Mrs Murphy, a Catholic and of a lower social class; and then Angela, the vivacious ex-actress, from the a different world, to provide catharsis.

Here is a sympathetic and unusual study of a marriage that, surprisingly and against the odds, takes the right turning; though lest anyone should feel that Crichton Smith is succumbing to sentiment, the novel’s last page echoes the veiled foreboding of it first. Once again he reminds us, with oblique irony, of the poet lurking behind the novelist.

Iain Crichton Smith was one of the best-loved and most prolific Scottish authors of the twentieth century. He was born in Glasgow, brought up in Lewis, and attended university in Aberdeen. After starting work as a teacher in Clydebank and Dumbarton, he taught at the High School in Oban until he took early retirement in 1977. He was the recipient of many literary awards and received an OBE in 1980. His widow, Donalda, still lives in Taynuilt, where the couple moved after their marriage in 1977.






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